their people need. on the massive oil spill in the gulf of mexico the leaders reached an agreement on some key points, including british energy giant bp's role of cleaning up the mess and paying appropriate compensation. but cameron also expressed concerns that too much criticism of bp would spoil mutual interests. >> thousands of jobs on both sides of the atlantic depend on it. so it's in the interests of both our countries, as we agreed that it remains a strong and stable company for the future. >> three months have passed since the underwater explosion that caused the massive spill. fishers near the gulf of mexico say they're worried about their future. gloom in the fishing industry is persisting despite reports from bp that a new cap installed last week has plugged the leak. fresh oil and gas leaks have been found in underwater locations other than the spot
where the cap was installed. some experts say new leaks could occur. fishing industry observers say it's too late now, even with the cap in place. they say the damage to the ecosystem is irreversible and people have been robbed of their future. >> the damage is done, huh? the oil's everywhere now. you ain't ever going to get it out of the water. >> the cost to the industry is estimated at about $1.6 billion in louisiana alone. the international conference on afghanistan has agreed that the country should take over security responsibilities from the coalition forces by the end of 2014. the agreement came as representatives from about 70 nations and international organizations adopted a joint statement at the close of the conference on tuesday.
japanese foreign minister katsuya okada and u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton were among the participants. >> the transition process is too important to push off indefinitely. >> the escalation in attacks by taliban insurgents has led to sharp rises in casualties and war costs on the part of the supporting nations. these countries hope to promote the training of afghan forces and police officers for a gradual transfer of security responsibilities to pave the way for withdrawal of the international forces. but it's taking time to turn them into forces with high ethical standards and professionalism. corruption is widespread, even among police officers. some provide the taliban with weapons. countries supporting afghanistan are seeking exit strategies but they are bound to face an uphill battle. the conference ended with an agreement to set a time limit for handing over security responsibilities to the afghan government, but it's still
unclear if the transfer can be realized by the deadline. the u.s.-led coalition forces have fought the taliban for nine years. peace and stability would secure afghanistan's future, especially for its children. here in tokyo our reporter yuko aotani spoke with a unicef representative in afghanistan, peter crowley, about the needs of afghan children. >> after all of this time the lives of people in afghanistan are still plagued by conflict and political instability. what do you see as the most serious issue facing people there, especially children? >> it is the conflict and security situation. it's very difficult to reach many parts of the country. but in spite of it all there is some considerable progress still being made. for example, after the fall of the taliban there were probably only between 3% and 6% of the children in school were girls. it's now nearly 40%.
so there's been a massive enrollment in -- massive increase in school enrollment and a massive increase in the enrollment of girls. >> and i heard that there's a sort of early marriage issue for the girls as well. >> early marriage is also a big issue, and we address this in a number of ways. one of the reasons we promote education, actually, for girls is that it's a very important way of deferring early marriage and also in ensuring that we reduce levels of maternal mortality and increase the survival rate of children, because the more educated a woman is, the more that her child is likely to survive when she gives birth and the more likely that her children will, in turn, be healthy. the mortality rate, the under 5 mortality rate in afghanistan is the worst in the world. 1 in 4 afghan children die before their fifth birthday.
>> can these matters be made better independent of the political process? >> obviously, we are going to be able to be more effective if there is more stability and if, hopefully, the security situation improves, so we just hope that afghanistan will stabilize and we will see an improvement in security. it is difficult, and parts of the country are very difficult, particularly the south and southeast parts of the country, but it's quite surprising what we are able still to accomplish largely by working through local partners who are known and trusted in the communities. >> recently you went to bamiyan to meet those people there. can you tell us a bit about that? >> bamiyan is relatively peaceful, and it's actually very exciting to go there because it gives us a sense of what could be achieved in other parts of afghanistan, were they to enjoy
the same levels of peace and tranquility as bamiyan does. so i was able to visit communities where we'd supported the construction of schools and water systems, including with the involvement of the communities themselves. i was also able to meet with groups of girls who were able to play sports. they were playing volleyball. they were able to get together and discuss their own issues in the way that teenagers would do anywhere. it was very encouraging. >> now, unicef is one part of a constellation of aid coming to afghanistan. what more do you think can be done in this regard, and who else should be involved? >> i think we do have, as you say, a large number of actors in afghanistan today. the full range, the whole u.n. family is represented there. we also have a lot of non-governmental organizations and also bilateral aid organizations. one of the key issues is
coordination to make sure that we complement each other's work and we don't duplicate and that we support government in putting in place the systems it needs to coordinate the overall effort. >> thank you very much for your time, mr. crowley. >> thank you very much. >> that was yuko aotani speaking with a unicef representative in afghanistan, peter crowley. at the first ever clean energy ministerial meeting participating nations agreed on stronger cooperation to prevent global warming by using clean energy resources such as solar power generation. the two-day meeting brought together 24 industrialized and emerging economies, including japan, the united states, and china. japan and the united states proposed setting up joint government and industry task
forces aimed at raising energy efficiency for sectors including steel and electricity. the participants agreed on 11 proposed initiatives to promote energy conservation and the use of clean energy. south korea was among those that proposed the creation of international standards for new generation power grids known as smart grids. these would deliver stable and effective electricity supplies generated from sources such as solar and wind. the u.s. and china proposed the promotion of electric vehicles. after the meeting u.s. energy secretary stephen chu, who chaired the meeting, stressed the success of the talks. >> today i'm pleased to announce initiatives that will save enough energy over the next 20 years to equal the output of 500 medium-size power plants. southeast asian foreign ministers have virtually allowed myanmar's general election to go ahead later this year without requesting the release of pro-democracy leader aung san suu kyi.
the myanmar election was discussed at the asean ministerial meeting in hanoi on tuesday. myanmar plans to hold its first general election in 20 years. in a joint statement released after the meeting the ministers called for a free and fair election but did not request the release of the pro-democracy leader. asean stuck to its principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of member states. >> it's not for us anyways. it's for the myanmar people themselves to judge on that. >> the myanmar delegation did not immediately respond to asean's request to send election monitors, saying the matter will be discussed after they return home. on wednesday japan, china, and south korea will join the asean nations to discuss regional issues, including the sinking of a south korean warship in march. foreign and defense ministers of south korea and the united states are to meet for the first time to discuss north korean issues.
south korean foreign affairs and trade minister yu myung hwan and defense minister kim tae young secretary of state hillary clinton and defense secretary robert gates in seoul on wednesday. the ministers are expected to reaffirm efforts to strengthen coordination to counter north korean threats. on tuesday the two countries announce add that they will conduct joint military drills in waters off the korean peninsula from sunday through wednesday. some 20 vessels will take part, including a nuclear aircraft carrier, the "uss george washington," and south korean destroyers and submarines. the exercises are a response to the sinking of the south korean warship in march. south korea blames the north for the incident. now, the two sides are also expected to discuss whether the u.s. should impose financial sanctions on north korea. welcome back to "newsline" business. u.s. housing starts fell for the
second month in a row in june. the department of commerce said on tuesday that housing starts dropped 5% on an annualized basis from the previous month to 549,000 units. housing starts have been on the decline since a government tax incentive for home buyers expired in april. the consecutive decline has raised concerns as the trend in the housing market is considered an indicator for recovery in the u.s. earnings plunged at goldman sachs for the may to june period. that came as they paid a huge fine to regulators and market turmoil depressed returns for the trading division. goldman sachs said on tuesday that its net profit fell over 80% in the last quarter from a year earlier to slightly above $610 million. the drop was partly due to the payment of a $550 million fine to the securities and exchange commission earlier this month. the payment was to settle fraud charges over sales of subprime
loan products. the british government also levied a $600 million tax on goldman, among others, for paying large bonuses to its employees. lower earnings for the trading division were also a factor as european fiscal problems caused turmoil in the stock and bond markets. tokyo stocks traded within a range on wednesday morning. the nikkei 225 ended the morning session at 9,321 points, up 0.2%, or 21 ticks. the index opened higher as investors took their cue from an overnight rally in new york. nearly lly 500.4 in the benchm also gave a reason to bargain hunters to buy but the up side was k57d as concerns over the u.s. economic outlook weighed down on market sentiment. on the tokyo foreign exchange the dollar is rising against the yen on wednesday morning. the greenback is currently trading at 87.20-22. market sources say that investors are buying back the
dollar following again on wall street overnight. this trend carried over to tokyo. meanwhile, the euro's currently changing hands between 112.47-52. and here's a look at the latest long-term interest rates. this is the yield on the benchmark ten-year japanese government bond. in other asian markets hong kong's hang seng opened up 0.6%, is currently up 0.8%. the shanghai key index for major blue chips is up 0.2%, and in shenzhen the sse composite is up 0.7%. a japanese department store operator will soon start growing fruit and vegetables in china to meet increasing demand for japanese foods in the country. isetan mitsukoshi holdings will begin farming in tianjin next month on land leased by the city. the company will be the first major japanese department store operator to do agribusiness in
china. the store will team one an agricultural cooperation in southern china to grow cherry tomatoes, japanese strawberries and radishes. they will sell the produce to their outlet in tianjin under its brand name. japanese foods are becoming popular in china as they are recognized for being safe to eat and for its high quality. china's import regulations ban most japanese proceeds except for apples and a few other items. the company says it can use selected japanese seeds and agricultural chemicals that meet japan's stringent safety standards in hopes to further stimulate demand for the products. japanese electronics maker sharp plans to start marketing digital book readers that will display videos as well as text. sharp says it has developed a new format that allows video and audio content plus text to be distributed at the same time to e-book readers. for example, readers of digital
travel guide books can watch videos of sightseeing spots and also get audio information in addition to text. the company plans to ask publishing houses to adopt its new format as part of its attempt to promote the product. sharp plans to release the digital product this year. honda motors says it will release small electric cars in japan and the united states in 2012. the move is likely to further intensify competition in the ecofriendly vehicle market. honda president tack noebi ito told reporters on tuesday that his company decided to launch electric cars because of its development of advanced technology. the company also plans to sell plug-in hybrids in both countries in two years. the cars will run on an engine and motor and can be recharged through household power outlets. other japanese automakers are also entering the electric car market. nissan motor will launch its electric car in december,
following the releases by mitsubishi motors and fuji heavy industries. toyota motor also plans to roll out its electric car by 2012. as e readers grow more popular, demand for digitized content is expected to rise rapidly, transforming the printed page into a digital one remains a difficult process. now, one university hopes its creation can help publishers bridge that high-tech shortcoming and meet the needs of today's avid readers. ntinue to appear on the aders market. consumers are looking forward to being able to choose from an extensive array of digitized books and magazines. to meet demand publishers are digitizing existing books and periodicals. but converting print to an e reader format is time-consuming.
it's a painstaking digitizing process that requires a lot of patience. each page from a printed book, periodical, or manga has to be scanned one at a time. >> translator: even in this high-tech world we have to do things manually. the manpower that's required to digitize printed matter raises our costs. >> reporter: to speed up the process a new technology is being developed by a research team at the university of tokyo. they've come up with a way to scan the print while simply flipping the pages. 250 pages can be stacanned in about 90 seconds. after processing the data, the digitized material looks just like its print version.
professor masatoshi ishikawa heads the team. his unique image processing uses high-speed cameras. the high-speed scanner is based on a batting machine technology that's also under development. one robot hits a ball that has been shot out of another robot. two high-speed cameras track the ball's movement in units of 1/1000 of a second. the computer processes the trajectory immediately after the camera shoots the pictures. the batting robot then swings based on the calculated trajectory. the printed matter scanner also utilizes a high-speed camera.
the pages are scanned from above. infrared rays are simultaneously imposed onto the pages. the printed material's shape is determined by calculating how much the horizontal infrared rays curve on the page. the camera alternately scans the images and infrared rays in units of 1/10,000 of a second. the computer then processes the data and creates a three-dimensional image. to make it easier to read it can be converted into a two-dimensional image. >> translator: high-speed processing is the main feature of our technology. a curved and distorted
three-dimensional image can easily be converted into a flat, two-dimensional image. it's expected that this technology which we are developing will contribute greatly to the digitizing of books. >> professor ishikawa's group is also developing a device that will automate turning pages in a book. they plan to team up with private firms to market and sell the scanner within the next two years. next is an update of the latest market figures. ♪
and that's all for now in biz news. next is the weather forecast with saki ochi. hi there and welcome back to your world weather update. now in east asia we're keeping an eye on the south china sea. you can see clouds really starting to organize and take clou clouds. we've got a tropical storm system that's continuing to show signs of strengthening. right now speeds have slowed down quite a bit. it is almost stationary. but gradually heading towards the westward direction. so still on that path for southeastern china, aiming for the gulf of tonking, or rather the northern side. gusts are up over 140 kilometers per hour. there are some pretty strong gusts associated with the system. but there's also that rain we're really concerned about.
rain already starting to affect areas like the hainan island, parts of guangdong province. but in the coming days we're going to see that really heavy rain area move all the way in toward even northern vietnam. so areas here expecting to pick up a lot more rain in the days to come. not good news as it's already been pretty well saturated here from that previous storm last week. now, china has been dealing with quite a bit of rain and central areas continuing to see those showers. nothing too heavy today, but already very, very saturated ground here, of course. so any additional rainfall, no matter how light, is not good news. northern china and into parts of the korean peninsula looking to pick up on more heavier showers today. perhaps isolated areas looking at more heavy rain to fall. japan stays largely in the dry although the northern end of hokkaido as well as on the southern side too, the islands here, could pick up a little more rain. it's also going to be quite hot across the country. we've been dealing with quite a bit of severe heat this week. looks like that will continue
wednesday as well as into a lot of the next few days. 35 degrees for tokyo. elsewhere we're going to see temperatures really start approaching 40 degrees celsius. very, very hot conditions. definitely take precautions if you are going to be out and about. over toward europe today, and we're looking at rain moving in from the west. already pretty wet for the brit at showers and some windy weather as well. similar conditions affecting the scandinavian peninsula too. and then we're going to see this low move up from the iberian peninsula. and rain is going to spread through western europe. that will be a nice change, hopefully breaking down the heat a little bit more. france as well as the low countries looking to get welt, but it will stay largely dry for central europe and just a few scattered showers showing up across the east. so still pretty hot for you here. 28 in war shasaw, 32 in vienna. 24 in paris. moscow coming in at 31 degrees.
and it's been just weeks of very, very hot conditions for those of you in western russia. and that heat's really starting to take a toll. here the peace tower in st. petersburg. we're starting to see cracks in the glass due to all the heat. forest fires are becoming a problem as well as that heat. and the drought continues. very dry conditions. and the very high temperatures not helping matters at all. very stagnant conditions also. so air quality not looking too good. you can see very hazy conditions across moscow. and on wednesday, too, looking hot once again. st. petersburg at 28. 31 for moscow. and these are temperatures well above average. 6 to 8 degrees above average. and we're going to watch that heat start spreading over the next couple of days. so even here across central areas of russia you can expect much hotter conditions to come. all right. so that's a look at your weather for now. and here is your three-day outlook.
cameron, who is now in the united states, has agreed with u.s. president barack obama to develop closer ties. the two have been at odds over the oil spill in the gulf of mexico. the leaders met at the white house on tuesday. in a joint news conference after the meeting obama stressed that the u.s. has no stronger partner than britain. cameron said the special relationship is essential for the two countries to deliver the security and prosperity that their people need. on the massive oil spill in the gulf of mexico the leaders reached an agreement on some key points including british energy giant bp's role of cleaning up the mess and paying appropriate compensation. but cameron also expressed concerns that too much criticism of bp would spoil mutual interests. >> thousands of jobs on both sides of the atlantic depend on it. so it's in the interests of both our countries, as we agreed that it remains a strong and stable company for the future.